Author: Matthew C. Funk

The Evolution of the Serial Killer

From Maniac, to Monster, to Mystery

America has always been crazy about serial killers.

They’re our homegrown werewolves. They click with the fast-food car culture that roars in the country’s busy, busy heart. They fit neatly with our cult-of-celebrity-style national mythology.

These beasts that seem like men, mowing through victims like McDonald’s cheeseburgers, speeding for the televised takedown by John Q. Law – how can the USA not be wild for them?


Cult Film Cult Crimes – Rob Zombie and THE LORDS OF SALEM

Heidi Gets Weird

Somewhere on the fringe of mainstream film, there’s a frenzied community of artists who illustrate an elemental aspect of crime. They don’t bother with the ticky-tack trivia of the procedural. They don’t focus on the grand fables of revenge and wrongs righted.

They have one obsession that strikes closer to the heart of what crime is than those other, petty examples: They show that crime is weird.

Among this outlying cadre, Rob Zombie is a dark prince. If a director like David Lynch is the philosopher king of this set, Zombie is its Dracula – an isolated loon on a bloody frontier, composing a grand guignol from his subject.

He taps into the surrealistic nature of his subject and smears it all over the walls in technicolor. His most recent offering, The Lords of Salem, dedicates itself entirely to this spectacular effort.


Capitol Crimes – Election Season Crime Media

Commander in Chief America

What’s the most a criminal’s ever taken from you?

Many of you just answered “none” or “not much, but that cell phone had precious memories on it.”  Some thought, “my sense of security.” A few of you are still seriously considering a part-time career in vigilantism.

But most Americans, deep down, know we’ve been robbed big time.

We may not have lost Grandma’s costume jewelry from the safe, or the use of our legs in a drive-by, but we lost something near and dear to us all.

We lost the Clinton years.


R.J. Ellory, Award-Winning Sock-Puppeteer, and the History of Black Hat Reviewing

Saints of New York

Take an inside line from a pro marketer: All marketing is a scam.

That isn’t to say there’s no truth in advertising. Objective facts have their place. But to some extent, you’ve got to lay on the hype to sell a product.

In social networking, hype could be in the form of swagger like Ricky Roma from Glengarry Glen Ross. In retail, underlining the “new,” the “hot,” the “hip” in your product. In fiction, it’s lifting those starred reviews up to every media outlet you can, so that all may see them.


7 Toughest Comebacks in Crime Film

 Mickey Rourke

Crime heroes and villains got it rough. They’re usually up to the gills in trouble and their genre, unlike horror, doesn’t smile on its bad-asses soaking up too many bullets.

A fortunate – or unfortunate, if you’re a “the grave’s half empty” kind of person – few manage some superhuman comebacks. Whether by the power of a psychotic episode, sheer grit or timely medical attention, these crime film characters practically pull off an Easter miracle.


6 Most Twisted Pranks in Crime Film

Bobcat Goldthwait

A perfect crime always has a bit of a prank to it. When you’re breaking the law, you’re duping society, after all. You play a joke on old Lady Justice. The punchline just happens to be a few steamer trunks of bearer bonds or a well-buried corpse.

But some crimes take the yukks to the next level. These law-shattering shenanigans score big on style points, surprise or sheer humor. And when it’s done for the sake of cinema, twisted pranks can leave their kink marks in our memory for years to come.

Here are 6 Twisted Pranks in Crime Film that never fail to split our sides or sicken our stomachs.


Top 10 Restaurants In Crime Film

Crime films often make me hungry. Often the restaurant scenes are among the best remembered in crime flicks. The coffee shops and Italian kitchens and juke joints where criminal characters go to grab a bite or do dirt serve to define them.

In some cases, it’s because crime films are a sit-down with a distinct culture, and there’s little better distinction for culture than food. It says more than a monologue. These places are home to some criminals, an escape for others, doom for a few. They’re some of the best moments of bad stories.


12 Time-Twisted Crime Films


It’s time to spring forward, as the saying goes. What daylight savings actually saves is beyond me. Just another way of making me wake up earlier than sunrise. Twisting time has worked a whole lot better in crime cinema.

I’m not talking about the usual flashbacks mysteries throw in to pad their plot and shoehorn in some exposition. Plenty of crime film breaks the laws of quantum physics as blatantly as they do federal and state statutes. A handful manage to pull it off with style.


Why AWAKE Is About To Become The Best Show On Television*


*For those who are still jonesing for something to fill the void in their life left by Lost.

Just to get past the nagging qualifiers, I’ve been hyping this show since the moment I heard the premise and saw the trailer for it (I won’t post it again here as I have been spamming the Complex for the past three months).  I have a nasty habit of doing this.  As a result, the sight of Chinese Democracy sitting on the shelves at Best Buy with a $1.99 price tag gives me stabbing pains in the abdominal area every time I go to pick up batteries.


The 10 Perviest Crime Films

Crime films give every genre a run for its money when it comes to getting hardcore. Murder, torture, kidnapping—they have it all and in many cases, they show it all. Even the lion’s share of the horror genre doesn’t hold a candle to scenes like Mr. Blonde getting down with a duct-taped cop and a straight razor.

Sex is no exception to the gritty lens of crime film. Sure, soft-focus has its part to play, but for every sultry love-making like in the Big Easy, you have a eye-ripping atrocity like I Spit On Your Grave. We’ve combed the archives to bring you the worst offenders, so send the kids to your ex-mother-in-law’s and let’s us revel in our sense of self-loathing with—The 10 Perviest Crime Films.

These films bring a demented original twist on original sin.